Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
The things that are missing in my life at the moment are the things I keep postponing day in, day out. Some of these things are completely neglected; others require more dedication. It may be that all I need to do is to simply start making time for them and, eventually, become obsessed with them. I have often suspected that I have an obsessive personality. Unfortunately, my current obsession is with laziness. But it is, nevertheless, an obsession. I've had many others.
I try to identify characteristics that mark obsessions off as obsessions, rather than regular activities, ideas etc. It seems to me that one thing all obsessions share alike is the ability to turn those who are afflicted (if that is the right word) by them into eccentrics. Sometimes just partially eccentric, but eccentricity is, I think, a symptom that accompanies obsessions. And if it doesn't, it seems to me that a process of repression is taking place, which is much more dangerous than eccentricity that grows freely and openly alongside an obsession.
I don't think there's anything wrong with eccentricity per se. Which leads to my next point. Obsessions also share with other obsessions the characteristic of being pre-moral. They aren't necessarily bad. Therefore, eccentricities that may develop as a result of the active pursuit of an obsession can be either benign or malignant. An eccentricity can be a charm or an unpleasant feature of someone's personality. Here I should make the honest suggestion that, if personalities are innate entities, they are also full of potential elements that may stay dormant throughout a person's life. They can be intensified and they can be deadened. They can be awakened in midlife, or in one's old age.
I've actually tried to get obsessed with things I felt I needed to do and I think I was successful. There were many books I had purchased at London charity shops that seemed to be destined to oblivion, at least as far as my reading them was concerned. I believed I stood to gain a lot by reading them. My obsession at that time was red wine. Or was it? Was it an obsession or was it a habit? Was it an addiction? I chose to call it an obsession. A habit that turned into an end in itself. It wasn't just the red wine, actually. I drank red wine every evening. About a bottle and a third of a bottle. And I read. I read the books I wanted to read, for the same reason stated a few sentences ago. But I only read in the evening, as I drank red wine. This meant I didn't read much, even though I read regularly. So I decided to ditch the red wine and consoled myself, in the cold turkey period, by telling myself that what I was getting into was also radical and excessive. And the fact is that I started to read quite a lot.
I found myself back to square one when outside events upset my new daily routine. My new obsession was cut short. Although I now see that I could easily have carried on with it. Just as some people turn to alcoholism or drugs to relieve stress, I could have stuck with my obsessive reading. Like a escape route. But a escape route that didn't just messed up with my mind. I could have carried on getting a bit cleverer than I was. Reading (if the books are properly chosen) are brains that you can pick at leisure. There are many brains out there that I have very good reasons to pick. Besides, I see a new tumultuous period of my life coming my way. I hope I can keep calm and read on. Actually, I hope I can not help keeping calm and carrying on, just like other can't help killing themselves with cigarettes. Cigarette smoking, by the way, is an obsession; not an addiction. A very vulgar kind of obsession.
This diary is something I want to try and turn into an obsession. I want to write more, and if I can't organise my thoughts enough to go about writing something a bit more structured, at least I can develop a habit of writing everyday. The next step is obsession. That, at least, is the idea.